LEO TOLSTOY’S POPULAR THEATRE: THE BEGINNING OF THE WRITER’S EDUCATIONAL SERVICE
Journal Title: Studia Litterarum - Year 2016, Vol 1, Issue 3
This article examines the frst phase of Leo Tolstoy’s educational service in the feld of the popular theatre on the example of the stage history of his comedy The First Distiller (1886). I see my task in the reconstruction of the frst stage version of this play prepared by V. G. Chertkov on the author’s request, with the use of archival information and data from the periodicals of 1886. For the frst time, the essay argues that Chertkov was working in four diﬀerent directions. He was negotiating with Moscow Buﬀonery Theatre, Vasileostrovskiy Workers’ Theater, St. Petersburg scenic platforms, and the Theatre of Popular Entertainment in the village of Alexandrovskoe near St. Petersburg. Chertkov covered the frst performance of The First Distiller (Alexandrovskoe, July 6 and 20 1886) that had a big resonance. The essay explains (for the frst time in Tolstoy criticism) why other performances of this play had never taken place. Technical and fnancial difculties prevented performances in Moscow Buﬀonery Theater and Vasileostrovskiy Theater. The symbolism of Tolstoy’s comedy (his images of devils and hell) became an impediment for staging the play at other popular theaters that Chertkov reached with the help of the patron of art, I. M. Sibiryakov.
Authors and Affiliations
Irina I. Sizova
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